The eastern cougar has been declared extinct almost eight decades after it was last seen. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the big cat no longer warrants federal Endangered Species Act protections and should be removed from its endangered list. The decision comes almost 80 years after an eastern cougar was trapped and killed by a hunter in Maine in 1938. None have been seen since. Cougars – also known as panthers and pumas – used to be the most widely distributed land mammal in the western hemisphere. But extermination campaigns have seen them eliminated from two-thirds of their original range, federal wildlife biologists said in their statement last week.